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Old 06-05-2012, 06:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Gustafsson Targets Summer Return, Picks Jones To Decision Hendo

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Fast-rising UFC light-heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson isn't sure what's next for him.

Gustafsson, who today shot down unsubstantiated reports of a broken hand, recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) he's targeting a summer return to the cage.

If it just so happens to coincide with UFC 151's championship headliner between light-heavyweight titleholder Jon Jones and Dan Henderson, all the better.

After all, Gustafsson has won five straight fights, including his UFC on FUEL TV 2 headliner with Thiago Silva back in April. Few top-level light heavyweights remain, and he recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio the UFC has given him few hints.

"No idea yet actually," he said when asked what's next. "I hope I can fight the end of the summer or somewhere around there."

With another victory, Gustafsson (14-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) could be in line to fight the winner of the Sept. 1 Jones (16-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) vs. Henderson (29-8 MMA, 5-2 UFC) title fight. Then again, as Frank Mir did in his recent UFC 146 headliner with heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos, Gustafsson could step in line for either Jones or Henderson should one become injured or unable to fight.

Mir got the unexpected title fight when Alistair Overeem failed a pre-fight drug test. Would such a replacement scenario appeal to the 25-year-old Swede?

"Yeah, absolutely," he said. "I wouldn't say no to that. That's what I train for: a shot at the title. That's why I do this. I want to win a belt.

"(But I have) no idea what the UFC will do. I take it one fight at a time, and I don't what the UFC has planned for me. I don't know what the plans look like. Hopefully I'll fight somewhere around that time, though."

Currently, former 205-pound champ Mauricio "Shogun" Rua needs an opponent for UFC 149's co-main event on July 21. However, UFC president Dana White recently told MMAjunkie.com he wants Glover Teixeira to take that fight.

Otherwise, ex-champ Rashad Evans is coming off a loss, Lyoto Machida is matched up with Ryan Bader at UFC on FOX 4 in August, Quinton Jackson's timetable for a return is unknown, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is still on the mend, and Phil Davis is Gustafsson's training partner.

"So I'm just waiting to hear from the UFC," Gustafsson said.

Perhaps Gustafsson will simply wait on the sidelines and await the Jones-Henderson winner. Or he could fill in for one of them as an injury replacement. But should the fight happen, Gustafsson knows who he thinks is winning.

"I think Jones will win that fight," he said. "I think it'll be a decision."

For more on UFC 151, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
Broken hand rumors false then, I wish they'd just put him in with Shogun and if he wins, he's undoubtedly No1 Contender.
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yeah there's no reason why he shouldn't be able to fight Shogun or Rashad, either fight would make a great contendership test for him.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I disagree with his assessment of the Jones Hendo fight. No way Hendo with his weak gas tank survives to a decision.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If he's healthy I can't see why he wasn't given the Shogun fight unless he's going on a hope that Jones or Hendo don't make it to that fight.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I disagree with his assessment of the Jones Hendo fight. No way Hendo with his weak gas tank survives to a decision.
Exactly what I thought. I'd say Jones by TKO in the 3rd or something.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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So he may land on the LHW title card?? Hell of a coincidence after his "injury".

In the UFC timing is everything.. but that's just my opinion.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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So he may land on the LHW title card?? Hell of a coincidence after his "injury".

In the UFC timing is everything.. but that's just my opinion.
Gustafsson was never hurt apparently, that was a wrong report that Shogun's facebook made although it appears Shogun wants to fight Bader or Davis who are both booked.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I disagree with his assessment of the Jones Hendo fight. No way Hendo with his weak gas tank survives to a decision.
I would normally agree, but now I am inclined to think otherwise. The sole reason being all the crap going on for JBJ outside of the cage. He is going to have a hard time preparing for this fight with his legal crap from the DUI, but that isn't the worst of it. The worst of it is going to be his dealing with his GF/Fiance. There were two women in his car coming back from that club, and I have not heard a story yet that explains what they were doing in his car, so that leads me to jump to conclusions. I am sure his GF/Fiance and mother of his children to probably do the same.

Rashad has looked even worse than normal and I blame a lot of it on his divorce which apparently took a huge mental toll on him. It could potentially do the exact same to JBJ. So while I think JBJ wins I bet he rides a decision.

Then again he could surprise me and come in as the best JBJ ever because he uses MMA to try and forget about his personal issues.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I think it's a pretty safe prediction for the fight, it'll likely reach the Championship rounds because Jon will be kicking and running away, waiting for Hendo to slow down. A late submission from Jones or KO from Hendo is possible but decision is a good bet.

That's not the focus of the article anyway, the point is, why aren't Rua and Gustaf being matched up? The UFC may well have told Gustaf he's in if Jones or Hendo have to pull out, but they could still sign him to fight Shogun at 149.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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That's not the focus of the article anyway, the point is, why aren't Rua and Gustaf being matched up? The UFC may well have told Gustaf he's in if Jones or Hendo have to pull out, but they could still sign him to fight Shogun at 149.
Totally agree, Rua vs Gustaf makes perfect sense!
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